THT Awardsby John Barten
August 03, 2010
Welcome to the awards.
All stats are for the period of Monday, July 26 through Sunday, Aug. 1. All season stats are through the first. For award definitions, see this year’s primer.
This week’s proof that assigning wins and losses to a pitcher is an archaic practice that must stop
Good luck division
Despite getting shelled for five runs in six innings, Ian Kennedy got the win over the Mets.
Alex Sanabia allowed seven runs in two frames while his counterpart, Jonathan Sanchez allowed five runs in six innings. Neither received credit or blame.
Johan Santana escaped with a no-decision when he allowed seven runs in five and two thirds.
Jason Vargas and Mark Buehrle combined to allow 10 runs in nine and a third and both walked away with no-decisions.
Brian Matusz was charged with five in three and two thirds. Robinson Tejeda let him off the hook.
Ervin Santana got the win after being charged with seven runs in six innings.
Bad luck division
Jeff Karstens and Chris Carpenter walked away empty handed when they combined for 14 scoreless innings against each other in a game that went to extras.
Cliff Lee went nine innings, allowing only one run, striking out 13 and walking nobody. No decision.
Jeremy Guthrie allowed one run in seven innings on a fly ball that Corey Patterson botched. He got the loss.
David Herndon blew the lead that Cole Hamels had trusted him with protecting. Jordan Norberto then followed up by blowing his own chance and gifting Herndon with his first win.
Jonathan Papelbon also got the win and blown save.
Wes Littleton Award
Brad Lidge entered with a three-run lead in the ninth inning. He walked two (one intentionally), allowed a single, a double, and a two-run home run, and he let loose a wild pitch. He still “saved” the game.
Please hold the applause
Scott Atchison induced two outs and allowed a two-run home run before being pulled for Papelbon. He got the hold.
Any sufficiently advanced defense is indistinguishable from pitching
Jonathon Niese struck out exactly one of the 29 St Louis batters he faced. He allowed one run on seven hits for the win.
Neither here nor there
Can we coin a term for an event where a reliever protecting a big lead gives up enough runs to make it a save situation? Can I name such a thing a Goldman Sachs?
Joe Carter Award
Ike Davis drove in seven runs in 20 plate appearances. This belies the fact that he wasn’t very good at anything else, going .222/.286/.389.
Ichiro Suzuki had a little bit of a Sanchez week, going .290/.290/.387.
Carl Crawford joined him with his own .286/.286/.393, though that was mitigated a bit by his four for four week on the basepaths, not all of it but some.
Harmon Killebrew Award
In part time work, Andruw Jones went .214/.389/.714, producing the same number of home runs as strikeouts.
Megarookie Matt Wieters provided the Orioles with a nice .250/.429/.625 week with five walks and two home runs in 16 at-bats.
Steve Balboni Award
Carlos Gomez has had a poor year, currently standing at .228/.280/.350, though it should be mentioned that his career rates are only .242/.290/.347. This week was worse than most with 11 strikeouts in 19 PA leading to a .111/.158/.167 disaster. Gomez does not have the secondary skills to make up for any kinds of problem making consistent contact.
Given that we are all still buzzing after the trade deadline, it seems a good point to note how disastrous the Johan Santana trade that brought Gomez to the Twins has been. Santana has been fine, but not the Cy Young winner he had previously been and his declining strikeout rates make me question whether the reality of paying him $25 million in 2013 will look foolish. On the other side of things, the Twins have undoubtedly seen the downside of trading for prospects.
Deolis Guerra still has time on his side, as he is still very young to be pitching in the International League, but he has been awful in the upper minors and scouting reports on him look shakier every season. Gomez has been shuffled off to Milwaukee to drag down the Brew Crew’s OBP. And Philip Humber and Kevin Mulvey are currently doing their best to help the Omaha Royals and Reno Aces compete in the Pacific Coast League.
Three true outcomes
David Ortiz smacked three home runs, walked three times, and struck out 13 times in 28 PA.
Nick Swisher went three-three-10 in 31 PA.
And Dan Uggla went five-six-six in 30 PA.
No batter who collected at least 25 PA this week failed to strike out. But I will give Jerry Hairston Jr some credit for going zero-zero-one in 25 PA.
Also note Carlos Ruiz, who went one-one-one in 27 PA and Delmon Young, who went one-zero-one in 27 PA, although he did post a HBP, which could theoretically be counted as a phantom fourth true outcome if you want to get nitpicky.
This week’s MVP
AL: It seems that Jose Bautista has no plans on returning to his prior status as a solid but unremarkable supersub. No, instead he went off for five home runs this week and five walks to only one strikeout on his way to a ridiculous .545/.630/1.364 line.
NL: Carlos Gonzalez homered on four straight days this week and raised his season OPS by 62 points. He roped 16 hits and walked three times for a .533/.559/1.067 line in 33 PA.
John Barten writes the THT Awards weekly feature. Please send suggestions, comments, corrections, and input to his email address. Follow him on Twitter at JohnMBarten